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Thread: 2009 BMW X6

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    2009 BMW X6

    A few years back, Nissan came up with an interesting idea called the Murano (and its luxury-line version, the Infiniti FX).

    It was (and still is) a hunky-looking, high-riding mixed course meal - part SUV, part high-performance sport sedan. It could handle - and it could haul.

    And not just stuff, either.

    No one else has tried to emulate the concept - until now.

    WHAT IT IS

    The X6 is a new model for BMW, released for the 2008 model year. It is slightly smaller than the Nissan Murano (and the Murano-based Infiniti FX), about the same size on the outside as an X5 - but much smaller inside, with room for just four people. Like the Murano/FX, the X6 is shaped more like a sport sedan than an SUV - and offers high-performance six and eight cylinder engines, a sport-tuned suspension, as well as an AWD system designed primarily for on-road handling rather than off-road crawling.

    Unlike the Murano/FX, the X6 is a lot more expensive: $52,500 for the V-6 equipped version; $63,00 for the V-8 powered xDrive50i - vs. $40,950 for the base model Infiniti FX35, $50,100 for the V-8 FX45 and $56,700 for the top-of-the-line FX50.

    WHAT'S NEW

    Minimal changes for '09 as this is an all-new vehicle for BMW that has only been out for a few months.

    ENGINES & PERFORMANCE

    Two powerplants are available in the X6 - the first (in the $52,500 xDrive35i) is a twin-turbo DOHC in-line six, the same engine used in other BMW models such as the 3-Series sedan. It makes 300 hp - a nice number - but also a necessary number given the X6's nearly 5,000 pound curb weight before anyone climbs aboard. Still, it's enough to get the X6 to 60 mph in about 6.3 seconds through the standard six-speed automatic and also-standard full-time AWD system.

    It's also a dead heat, numbers-wise, with the 303 hp 3.5 liter V-6 used in the Infiniti FX35.

    The optional engine is unique to the X6 (at the time of this writing). It's a twin-turbo 4.4 liter V-8 rated at 400 hp - with a diesel-like 450 ft.-lbs. of torque available at just 1,800 RPM. The additional power chops the 0-60 time down by one full second - but the price tag also goes up by nearly $11,000 to $63,000.

    The good news is you're getting a significant advantage over the V-8 equipped Infiniti FX45 - which musters 320 hp and 335 ft.-lbs. of torque. An 80 hp advantage is no small thing - on paper or how it feels when you push down on the gas pedal.

    The bad news is Infiniti still has one more card to play - the $56,700 FX50. It packs a 390 hp punch - only 10 hp less than the xDrive50i's turbo'd V-8 - for almost $7k less, sticker price-wise.

    That stings. So does the BMW's appetite.

    Both versions of the X6 will get you Christmas cards from OPEC.

    The six-cylinder version's EPA-rated highway mileage is barely out of the teens (15 city/20 highway) while the V-8 powered (and 5,200-plus pound) xDrive50i is solidly in the teens on both counts - 13 mpg city and 18 mpg highway.

    Both engines require premium unleaded, too.

    RIDE & HANDLING

    Unlike the X5, the X6 doesn't have to try to be as capable off-road as it is on - so the engineers were able to focus primarily on high-performance handling rather than the capability to make it across brooks and up rutted grave roads. The AWD system and huge wheels/tires (19x9s on the V-8 xDrive50i - with even more humungous 20-inch rims available optionally) combine with typically precise BMW steering to deliver cornering prowess and high-speed stability that's much more sport sedan-like than the higher-riding, not as nimble X5 delivers.

    The price you pay for this is very limited off-road capability.

    Despite a height-adjustable suspension, a bit more ground clearance than the typical sport sedan's and a "tall" profile, the X6 is not the vehicle to take out in a blizzard - especially if yours is fitted with high-performance "summer" tires on 20 inch rims.

    Like the Murano/Infinit FX, you do feel as though you're riding higher up than you would in a regular car - but the Batmobile-like fastback roofline and low glass all around you convey a much sportier flavor.

    STYLING & UTILITY

    The X6's very distinctive appearance - and swanky interior layout, complete with twin consoles and personalized controls for the back seat occupants - is a big part of the draw. Which is a good thing, because this thing's utility is minimal. Rear bucket seats, for example, look great - but reduce the carrying capacity of this model to no more than four. The Infiniti FX seats five - and has a bit more headroom for both front and rear seat occupants. The X6 isn't claustrophobic, though - just intimate. It's a personal space for four - not a limo or family vehicle.

    And: Total cargo capacity's not bad - 60 cubic feet. That's only slightly less than the Infiniti (62 cubic feet). And the BMW does come standard with AWD - while it's optional in the FX35 (though it's standard on the V-8 powered FX45 and FX50).

    QUALITY & SAFETY

    One of the major reasons people buy BMWs is the top-drawer engineering and high level of fit, finish and quality of materials used. And also because as the owner of a BMW, you won't see a lower-priced version of more or less the same car sidling up to yours one day - as is the case with the Nissan Murano-based Infiniti FX.

    Arguably, that's an aspect of quality - just as a steak served at The Palm is worth a bit more than the all-you-can-eat buffet at Rustler.

    No question, the BMW is a lot more expensive than the Infiniti - the only vehicle out there that's directly similar. But it's also more exclusive - and not just in terms of how much it costs.

    On the safety front: Both versions of the X6 come equipped with BMW's DSC traction/stability control system, side impact and curtain air bags, knee bolsters up front, auto-tensioning seat belts and active (anti-whiplash) head restraints. The DSC traction/stability control system is tuned to allow fairly aggressive driving before it intervenes and can be turned off partially - or all the way. Tap the button once to partially nix it - hold it down a moment longer to send the nanny away completely.

    DRIVING IMPRESSIONS

    The X6 feels more nimble (and amazingly, lighter on its feet - despite the Biggest Loser-style curb weight) than the similarly beefy Murano/FX. A lot of the credit for this has to go to the BMW's turbocharged engines, which put out more torque at lower engine speeds (as well as significantly more horsepower in the case of the 4.4 liter V-8) than the naturally aspirated V-6 and V-8 engines that power the Murano/FX. But neither engine feels turbocharged; there's no audible whistle as the boost comes on, no lag when you floor it. This is achieved by using two smaller, staged turbochargers - one for lower speed operation, the other for high RPM boost - rather than a single turbo that comes on line more abruptly (and sometimes, a fraction of a second after you've punched it).

    The other area where the BMW holds an advantage over the Murano/FX is suspension tuning and steering. What you've read about BMWs is no bull; these things deserve the rep they have for being "ultimate driving machines." That includes the X6, which is kind of like the super hero suit on that '80s-era TV show that transforms a regular Joe into someone with amazing powers. Strap on the X6 and you'll feel invincible, able to flummox other drivers without hardly trying.

    Just don't get too cocky. All cars have their limits - and with cars that have limits considerably higher than the typical Joe's, its easy to get in way over your head before you even realize what's happening. By which time, of course, it is too late.

    The one thing that's missing from this package is a manual transmission - a feature you can get in almost every other BMW model, including the SUV-esque X5 and most of BMW's sedans, too. Granted, most people would probably buy the automatic anyway. But it should be on the table for those who'd like to shift their own gears.

    Especially in an "ultimate driving machine."

    THE BOTTOM LINE

    The X6 is pricey - but so is a nice suit in New York City or a great bottle of wine. I really liked its intimate, personalized layout that's dramatically different from the relentlessly "family friendly" designs that everyone else is putting out. So it only seats four? So what? Not everyone has a Brady Bunch to cart around and not everyone wants a super-sized vehicle with too much room - and not enough style.

    It's not for everyone. But it may be for you.






  2. #2
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    Re: 2009 BMW X6

    Looks like Nissan suckered BMW into spending a lot of cash on developing a car that has no purpose.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  3. #3
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: 2009 BMW X6

    Mazda CX-9 and CX-7 may just squeek into that category too.

  4. #4
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    Re: 2009 BMW X6

    This article has been posted on the main site with pictures:




    http://www.ericpetersautos.com/home/...5&Itemid=10918

  5. #5
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    Re: 2009 BMW X6

    The ironic thing is that owners are going to spend additional money on aftermarket lowering springs for them.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  6. #6
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: 2009 BMW X6

    When I see the X6, it reminds me of one of those '83 Impalas with 24" wheels that the Hiphop Nation are so enamoured of. It looks like a sedan with a lift kit.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Kwozzie1's Avatar
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    Re: 2009 BMW X6

    Hmmm.....
    I have to say I don't like it....
    Is it for poseurs?

    For Erice......Oh maybe I am biased as I see a smiling maggot's (read realestate agent) face on billboards and he drives one ;D
    Rex
    On the Sunshine Coast, in the Sunshine State Queensland (QLD), Australia

  8. #8
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: 2009 BMW X6

    Quote Originally Posted by Kwozzie1
    Hmmm.....
    I have to say I don't like it....
    Is it for poseurs?

    For Erice......Oh maybe I am biased as I see a smiling maggot's (read realestate agent) face on billboards and he drives one ;D
    The real estate thing gave me a good coffee-pilling morning chuckle!

    Seriously, though - you're right, the X6 is pretty much an odd duck. It's like a concept car come to life, along the lines of that weird Isuzu I-forget-its-name that made it to production a few years back....

  9. #9
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    Re: 2009 BMW X6

    Yeah, the Isuzu Ironman whatever it was.

    It had good performance specs, but next to zero utility. Sort of like the Infiniti FX-45.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  10. #10
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: 2009 BMW X6

    Really does seem to be the answer to a question no one asked.

    Have you seen the film on the design team?

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